/ntldr problem; XP32bit and Windows 7 64bit

#1
Hi,

I am trying to create a dual boot system. It is on a Dell Vostro 420. The primary drive (SATA 0) has a hidden dell fat partition with some dell utilities, Windows XP SP3 32bit on the next logical partition, and then Windows 7 64bit on a partition. In XP; Windows shows as c:.
In Windows 7; Windows 7 shows as the c: drive, and Windows XP as the d: drive.

Windows 7 was installed after XP. When I first installed Windows 7, the system did work properly as a dual boot machine. Windows 7 showed as the primary boot; and legacy Windows as the second choice.

I ran Easy BCD 1.6x, and renamed the legacy Windows to Windows XP; and made it the primary boot choice, with a time count of 10 seconds.

After that, I received an error relating to missing \ntldr when trying to boot XP. First I ran the XP disc, and did a fixboot and fixmbr. As you can guess, XP started running again but there was no access to Windows 7. Then I ran a repair for Windows 7, and the dual boot menu came back up; but with the \ntldr error again. I cycled through this a bit, and did install and try the latest beta version of Easy BCD.

At this point, I used Easy BCD to revert to the classic boot for XP.

From reading various posts, I am guessing that the system is pointing to the wrong drives for boot information. What is the best way to fix things? I need help in getting access to Windows 7 again. Can I fix things from XP...or do I need to do another repair of Windows 7 then run EasyBCD from there and make whatever changes are needed?

I appreciate some help. I feel like I am close....but far away at the same time.

I would like to get this fixed....then the next step is to install ubuntu on a separate drive. But first things first!

Thanks all for your help.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Hello,

Get [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread] latest build, as 1.6x is wayyyyy old. Re-install Vista bootloader. Re-add the entry for XP. When it asks to autoconfigure let it do so.
 
#3
Sorry if I was not clear. I did install the latest beta version. Maybe I did not run it properly, but that is the version I have.

So when you say install the Vista bootloader....should I reinstall using EasyBCD (can it do this?) or with the Windows 7 install disc.

Depending on which way you recommend (remember I currently only can access XP) I go, how exactly do I get the bootloader going?

Last time I did a repair install of Windows 7, it automatically found XP and Windows 7.

Should I delete this entry then add it back?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Boot the W7 DVD and repair the boot again to get W7 up and running at boot time.
Then, from W7, using EasyBCD 2.0, add an entry for XP and let Easy2 auto configure it for you.
When you previously "changed settings" with EasyBCD to rename "legacy Windows" and change the default, that could not have broken a working XP boot.
The NTLDR error indicates that you must also have changed the drive letter of XP at the same time as you made the other changes.
EasyBCD points the XP entry to the correct place, the "system" partition where the boot files reside.
You must not change this to point at the XP partition. W7 bootmgr expects to find NTLDR in the same partition as itself ("system"), and NTLDR then opens boot.ini (also in the same place), and it's boot.ini not the BCD which locates the XP partition.
That's why EasyBCD auto-configures it all for you, so you don't have to copy files around and modify boot.ini yourself.
When you change the boot descriptions next time, leave the drive letters where EasyBCD put them.
 
#5
Terry;

You diagnosis of what happened seems about right. I do think that I changed the drive letter to c:.

When I boot into Windows 7; the Windows 7 drive is shown as c:/, and XP as D:.
When I boot into XP; XP is c: and Windows 7 is something like g:.

From the point of view of EasyBCD; what is the proper boot drive in this scenario?

Anyway, when I do a repair of Windows 7, EasyBCD already will find XP. Should I remove XP and then add it back?

Thanks.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Remember that drive letters don't physically exist, they're just figments of the imagination of the running OS (entries in its registry).
The BCD doesn't actually contain drive letters, it uses the UID of the drive, but since those are unreadable/unmemorable, EasyBCD translates them into letters as seen by the system on which you are running EasyBCD.
Always use the letters that the running system calls things.
 
#7
Thank you all so much for your help. With your guidance, and a wee bit of trial and error, I achieved a properly working multi-boot of XP, Windows 7, and Ubuntu Linux.

In the case of Ubuntu linux, I disconnected the NTFS drives and installed Linux to its own drive. I did not want the Grub program writing on my NTFS drives (I went through that once before and did not like the result).

Then I reconnected the two NTFS drives, ran Windows 7, ran easybcd, and added Ubuntu. I told the program that Ubuntu did not have a MBR entry, and it took care of the rest.

The Unix boot is interesting....seems to show some low level system calls while booting. But all looks well after a few seconds.

The XP and Windows 7 boots go very smoothly.

I imagine at some point I will need pointers again when the the Dell approved version of Windows 7 ships and I convert to that version.

Thank you again.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
No problem, happy dual-booting.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Yea, I should have said happy multi-booting.
 
#11
Thank you all so much for your help. With your guidance, and a wee bit of trial and error, I achieved a properly working multi-boot of XP, Windows 7, and Ubuntu Linux.

In the case of Ubuntu linux, I disconnected the NTFS drives and installed Linux to its own drive. I did not want the Grub program writing on my NTFS drives (I went through that once before and did not like the result).

Then I reconnected the two NTFS drives, ran Windows 7, ran easybcd, and added Ubuntu. I told the program that Ubuntu did not have a MBR entry, and it took care of the rest.

The Unix boot is interesting....seems to show some low level system calls while booting. But all looks well after a few seconds.

The XP and Windows 7 boots go very smoothly.

I imagine at some point I will need pointers again when the the Dell approved version of Windows 7 ships and I convert to that version.

Thank you again.
hello, i'm new here. Google send me to this great looking forum..
You said yo've managed to run seven & xp again.. I'm also stuck in the same situation as yours.
Installed Xp first, then Seven. Now when I boot into XP using the seven bootloader, i get an error: \ntldr with code 0xc000000e.
And repairing XP bootloader deletes seven bootloader (& so 7 from boot)

Repairing again seven startup, shows XP again but with the same error.
Any help would be grateful
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
Hi master, welcome to NST.
Don't repair XP.
That "missing or corrupted" message is merely an indication that you're looking in the wrong place, not that there's something broken in XP.
Make sure you're using the latest build of EasyBCD 2.0 and from W7 add an entry for XP, accepting the offer to auto-configure for you. Don't change the XP entry that EasyBCD creates to point to XP. (The BCD does not point to XP. It points to copies of the XP boot files and they (boot.ini) point to XP.